Roadtrip to Tonopah, Nevada

E-P1020767Last week I made a trip to Lake Tahoe to visit family. On the drive back I decided to make an extended stop at Tohopah to check out the Historic Mining Park. I also added pictures to this post from the Central Nevada Historical Society Museum that I took on a visit I made in August. You can find a link to pictures and information on this historical mining town here … Roadtrip - Tonopah, Nevada.


Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument - Trip Notes for 10/30/2012

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This page last updated on 03/29/2018
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10/30/2012 Trip Notes: Though there are several dirt paths leading to the wash from the city's north edge toward the Las Vegas Range and its bajada, we entered the area from the power-line road off of Route 95N, just past the Kyle Canyon turnoff (refer to map in Fig. 05). The top picture, (Fig. 01) is the view we had across the bajadas that come down from the Sheep Mountains and the Las Vegas Mountain Range in the distance. The tallest mountain in the picture in (Fig. 06) is Gass Peak. As we headed out towards the wash, we passed a series of arroyo bluffs (Figs. 03 & 07). Many of these arroyo walls are freshly exposed, revealing intricate layers of sediments. Thick gravel beds represent input from alluvial fans. As we hiked further out, these arroyo walls began to slump into much gentler slopes that hide any possible details of the sediments and fossils. Along the way we crossed several areas that provided evidence of flowing/standing water no more than a two to three weeks ago. After about a mile out, we came upon the corner of a wooden fence line that stretched at least a 1/2 mile in opposite directions. Though we were unable to find the location of the 60’s paleontological dig or any fossil remains, we did come across the hollow shell and burrow (Figs. 08 & 09) of a long deceased desert tortoise that we estimated to be approximately 50 years old. Click here for more … Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii.
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Visit to Floyd Lamb Park

E-P1020405Last week Connie and I came here for a picnic lunch with our friend Jim Herring who was visiting from Kansas. He couldn’t believe that there was actually an oasis like this within the city limits of Las Vegas. Jim and I spent more than an hour roaming the park’s paths in and around its four lakes snapping dozens of pictures of the numerous birds, ducks, geese, peafowl and other waterfowl that freely roam the property. Check out the updated post and slideshow for pictures … Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs.

10/15/2012 Cathedral Rock Hike

e-P1020265This past week our friend Jim Herring was in town visiting from Kansas. On the fourth day of his visit we drove to the Mt. Charleston area and hiked the trail to the summit of Cathedral Rock. This was Jim’s first time here, and my second this year. I was still surprised, and pleased, to see that some of the Aspen trees still had some Fall color. Click here for the update I made to this daytrip page … Cathedral Rock Hike at Mt. Charleston.


Hike Update - Calico Basin & Red Spring

E-P1020560This past week my hike with the rock-hounds took me back to Calico Basin and the Red Spring Picnic Area. Because we made this a destination hike, rather than just a lunch stop, we were able to hike and see much more of the area than in previous visits. In fact, I looking forward to taking the 3-1/2 mile round-trip Guardian Angel Pass trail into Red Rock Canyon on my next visit here. I did a complete “revamping” of my previous post for this location. Check it out here … Calico Basin & Red Spring.


Sandstone Quarry and La Madre (Springs) Dam Hikes

P1020133Even though it was a very overcast and rainy day, I was still able to get in some hiking with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Center. After a brief visit to the Calico I site, our next stop was at the Sandstone Quarry Overlook, about 2.75 into the Scenic Loop Road. Because of we wanted to save more time for our planned stop at Willow Creek, we only spent about an hour here, but found it very interesting. So much so that we want to make it an all day stop for one of our future visits. There are more than a half dozen trails, ranging from 1.5 to 5 miles in length, that branch off from this parking location. Check out today’s stop here … Sandstone Quarry Overlook & Trails. Our final stop was at the Willow Springs Picnic Area where some people in the group hiked the Willow Falls and Petroglyph trails, while others took on the longer, more strenuous La Madre Spring trail. Check out the La Madre Spring trail here … La Madre (Springs) Dam.

Visit to the Smith Center for the Performing Arts

P1010977Today’s visit to the Smith Center with a group from the Heritage Park Senior Facility provided me with the opportunity to add additional pages to my categories on Architecture and Art & Sculpture. Even though a mix-up prevented us from getting a tour of the inside of the facility, I was still able to capture some nice shots of the buildings exterior Art Deco design as well as many of the surrounding sculptures.  Check it out here … The Smith Center.


Hike Update – Crescent Peak Mine

E-P1010953One of the stops on this past week’s hike was to the Crescent Peak Mine at the end of Crescent Peak Mine Road. The mine is just below the 5,997 foot Crescent Peak, the prominent pyramid shaped peak on the south side of Nipton Road in southern Nevada just east of the town of Nipton, CA and about 12 miles west of Searchlight, NV. This rarely visited peak provides stunning views in all directions. Click here to view more information and pictures of this hike … Crescent Peak Mine.


New Hike Post – Walking Box Ranch Road

E-P1010916-2This past week’s hike with the rock-hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Facility was out in the Mojave desert along Walking Box Ranch Road, located off of NV-164 (Nipton Rd.) about six miles west of Searchlight Nevada. Driving past the Walking Box Ranch, we rode this graded, yet quite bumpy road for approximately 7.5 miles before stopping at a well weathered holding corrals.  There are several of these old corrals, water troughs, and other ranch features scattered throughout this desert area. From here, we had views west of the Castle Peaks and the New York Mountain range and the Hart Peak to the south. Click here to view pictures and info on this location … Walking Box Ranch Road.


Hike Updates – Anniversary Mine, Anniversary Narrows & West End Wash

This week Harvey and I hiked three sites off of Lake Mead’s Northshore Road. As a result, I ended up creating two new pages and completely revamping a previous page. I have provided links to each of these pages below.
E-P1010739Anniversary Mine: Though I had been to this location before, I had ‘lumped’ it in with pictures from a hike to the Anniversary Narrows. Because we spent much more time exploring the mine on this hike,  I decided to dedicated more space to it by giving it a page of its own. I added some more info on the history of the mine and quite a few more pictures. Check it out here … Anniversary Mine.
E-P1010786Anniversary Narrows: Because they are both in the same area, lumping these two together makes for a nice daytrip, however, they both deserve recognition on their own. Because I already had a rather extensive page on the Narrow’s hike from a previous visit, I just decided to update the previous page with a new “Trip Notes” section. Due to time constraints on previous visits, I had never even been able to hike to the end of the slot. Because we were able to drive right up to the beginning of the slots, saving more than two miles of hiking, we had much more time to hike this area.  Check it out here … Anniversary Narrows.
E-P1010854West End Wash: The main entrance to the West End Wash is located 2-3 miles south of the Lovell Wash and Anniversary Mine/Narrows entrance off of Lake Mead’s Northshore Road. However, we found a back road that connected these two washes that started up behind the old Anniversary Mine processing area. This is a very large (wide) wash that leads into some quite interesting geology as it heads west and north into the Muddy Mountain range. Check it out here … West End Wash.


More Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs

Because many of the petroglyphs panels here are on rock faces that high up on the canyon walls, they are difficult to see without ‘zooming’ in on them. What I have done in the majority of pictures below is to combine distant shots with close-ups so that you can get a feel for the panels natural setting as well as have a better opportunity to observe the many individual elements within the panel.
Petroglyph 01
Petroglyph 02
Petroglyph 03
Petroglyph 10
Petroglyph 04
Petroglyph 05
Petroglyph 06
Petroglyph 07
Petroglyph 08
Petroglyph 09
Petroglyph 11
Petroglyph 12

Contemporary Art Deco

Smith Center Interior
Title - The Art of Deco - II
On 10/13/2012 I visited the new Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Las Vegas for the second time. This visit included a guided tour of the building’s interior. This collage is a composite of more than fourteen photographs that I shot while touring the building’s interior spaces. Much of the symmetry for the many geometric shapes that decorate building’s interior were copied from the Art Deco elements found at the Hoover Dam.

Calico Basin/Red Springs Summary Page

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This page last updated on 03/32/2018

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Calico Basin Cover
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MAP-Calico Basin
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Because describing hikes in this area can be somewhat difficult, I have divided this post into three distinct sections; Section I, titled Ash Creek Spring; Section II, titled Calico Spring; and Section III, Red Spring & Picnic Area. Refer to the map in (Fig. 02) above. In general, the entire area shaded in green is referred to as Calico Basin, a colorful desert area tucked between the gray limestone La Madre Mountains to the north, the red sandstone Calico Hills to the west, and a desert ridge to the south. Within the basin there are actually three springs with permanent water that emerge from the base of these red and white sandstone cliffs: Red Spring to the south, Calico Spring in the middle area, and Ash Creek Spring to the north. The Red Spring Picnic Area, containing Red Spring itself, is a small saltmarsh meadow surrounded by a wooden boardwalk.
11/26/2016 Trip Notes: Blake Smith and I, looking for an easy hike, decided to travel to Calico Basin and hike the lower portion of the Kraft Mountain Loop Trail. Even though it was Thanksgiving weekend, in all the times I have visited Calico Basin area, I have never seen so many people there. We encountered roughly 150 people while hiking this trail. Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ... Kraft Mountain Loop Trail.
03/08/2016 Trip Notes: Today, myself and three hiking partners, Harvey Smith, Blake Smith and Bob Croke, hike the trails to Ash Spring, the third of three natural springs found at Calico Basin. Though we didn't find anywhere near the number of spring blooms as we did on the previous trip below, we still got some nice pictures. Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ... Ash Spring @ Calico Basin - 03/08/2016 Trip Notes.

04/18/2015 Trip Notes: Today, fellow hiking partner Blake Smith and I decided to take a morning hike to the Northern area of Calico Basin which encompasses Ash Creek Spring (Fig. 01). Due to the number of pictures I took on this hike, I have created a separate page to describe it. Here is the link to view pictures and information about this hike … Ash Spring @ Calico Basin.
10/28/2012 Trip Notes: On another trip with the rock-hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Facility, I visited this area for the third time this year. On today’s visit we made it our only stop, providing us with much more time to hike the area than we have had in the past. After driving to the northern end of the basin, we hiked along a dirt road to the edge of the red and white sandstone mountain range. On the right we passed an area where someone had created a geoglyph, a sizable circular pattern out of stones (Fig. 04), similar to a “crop circle”.  From here, the majority of the group continued northwest, while I headed south along the western ridge of the range towards Angel Pass (refer to map). On the way to Angel Pass, I passed a couple of interesting rock formations (Figs. 05 & 06). I titled the first one, “Desert Flower Pot”, as it had some grasses growing right out of some natural holes in the rock. The second one, a piece of rock that had fallen down the mountain side and landed on its peak, reminded me of a spinning top, thus the title, “Spintop”.
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05) Title Desert Flower Pot
(Fig. 06) Title - Spintop
I finally reached Angel Pass (Fig. 07). I have since learned that hiking (scrambling) to the top of this pass and beyond takes you to Calico II in Red Rock National Park. (refer to the map above) Once I finally reached this spot, the trail led me into a wide wash (Fig. 08) that was filled with a variety of shrubs and small trees, plus several areas of standing water (Figs. 09-14) that were eminating from Calico Spring. As you can see from these pictures, the colors and striations in the rock formations along this area were outstanding. After viewing these pictures, I’m sure you can see why I was a little late in getting back to the van – sorry!
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10/18/2012 Trip Notes: After hiking the areas noted above, everyone ended up at the main picnic area which acts as a trailhead for several short hikes. Several of us hiked a trail that headed south along the east side of the board walked meadow. At the southern most end the trail headed up a gravel wash that can be seen just above the trees on the right side of (Fig. 15) above. This is actually the return of the 3.5 mile Guardian Angel Pass trail. We then walked along the entire top of this east to west ridge-line taking pictures in every direction. The view in (Fig. 16) is looking north, back towards Red Spring and the meadow. The next picture (Fig. 17) was taken from the west end of the ridge looking southwest towards Red Rock Canyon. On our way back, we stopped at the small cave (Fig. 18) that is the source of Red Spring. Click the following link to view additional pictures of the spring … Red Spring. While visiting this area we observed numerous butterflies, humming birds and sparrows (Fig. 19) that were enjoying the lush plant life around the spring.
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05/20/2012 Trip Notes:
Even thought we've had one of the driest winters and spring on record, the natural springs in this area continue to keep the relatively small Red Spring valley lush and green. As I hiked a trail that headed north, away from the Red Springs meadow, I stole a quick look back and snapped this picture which captured the lushness of the salt grass meadow below. Click the following link to view pictures of the spring, located behind the clump of trees in the far right of the above photo, that feeds this area ... Red Spring. Notice the stark color contrast between this picture and the one at the very top that was taken in late winter. By arriving early in the morning, I was hoping to capture some pictures of the Black-tail Jackrabbits that inhabit this area. Even though I made two sightings, I was unable to get any pictures before they scurried off with amazing speed. A walk around the boardwalk before leaving did however produce a few ‘bird’ pictures. I don’t pretend to be a bird expert, I tried my best to identify the pictures below. Left to right: A male Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens), Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus), Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata), Western Kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis), Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri).
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The first picture below shows the fruit of a Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina) tree. The middle picture is a Yerba Mansa. On the far right is a rare Alkali Mariposa Lilly (Calochortus striatus). Click here to learn more ... Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina), Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica) and Alkali Mariposa Lily.
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05/10/2012 Trip Notes:
Again, I stopped here with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park's Senior Center for what was probably my fourth visit to this area. Instead of walking the wooden boardwalk, I hiked a trail that headed north, away from the Red Springs meadow. As I walked through the lush green clump of cottonwood trees, ash trees, shrub live oak, and honey mesquite at the beginning of this trail, I captured several colorful pictures of some blossoming vegetation and plant life strewn along the hillside just above the parking lot. Top left is the Alkali Mariposa Lilly (Calochortus striatus); top right is the Prickly Sow Thistle (Sonchus asper). Click these links for more info: Alkali Mariposa Lily and the Prickly Sow Thistle.
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Walking as far as time permitted, I ended up with the picture below as my final view. If you look closely just to the right of center, you can see Turtlehead Peak in the distance. The trailhead for the very difficult hike to the summit of this peak actually starts at Sandstone Quarry inside the Red Rock Park. The four pictures below this give you an idea of some of the wildlife that I passed along the way. Unlike the desert chipmunks who posed and waited patiently for me capture several pictures, the two long eared black-tailed jackrabbits took off so fast that I was lucky to even capture this poorly focused distant shot of one of them. For more info go to Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus).
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03/03/2011 Trip Notes:
On this brief stop with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park's Senior Facility, the parking lot was nearly full. With the 'tons' of kids running around, it was difficult to capture any wildlife pictures. I spent most of the time walking the wooden boardwalk that encircles the entire parameter of the small saltmarsh meadow. A walk around the wooden boardwalk (below left) will provide you with a variety of interesting views and subjects. There are hundreds of fascinating rocks like the one pictured (below right), that were ‘pitted’ when iron oxide was concentrated as water moved through the rock many thousands of years ago. This area of the Calico Hills is filled with sandstone rocks where iron oxide or 'rust' formulated concretions. Concretions, a word derived from the Latin word con meaning together and cresco meaning to grow, are growths of different mineral matter that develop in a host rock. It is unclear why they begin to form. However, once the process starts, the iron continues to concentrate there. (click the rock above to enlarge) The red spots form when the concentrated iron oxide moved through the rock. Iron spots harder than the sandstone form a 'bump' as the softer exposed sandstone wears away. Sometimes, after thousands of years of weathering, the concretions break free. These small stone balls are iron nodules that are commonly called Indian Marbles.
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As you can see from the pictures below, some showed the layers of thousands of years of compression, while others displayed petroglyph's left by ancient visitors to the area hundreds of years ago. Click the following link to see more petroglyph's at Red Springs ... Petroglyphs at Red Springs.
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Slideshow Description: The slideshow above contains 107 pictures that were taken at the Red Spring and Calico Basin area over four different visits.